Science Art: Skylab Artist Concept, 1972

Scientific Illustration of NASA's Skylab Click to embiggen

A house in space, with a big carport. Spaceport. You get the idea.

From NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center:

This illustration Skylab shows the Apollo capsule, which was launched on a Saturn 1B rocket to ferry crews to space, docked to the multiple docking adapter, which was designed and built at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Read more

Science Art: Plate XIV (Cosmarium species from Desmids of the United States....

Scientific illustration of desmids (algae)

Single-celled algae, magnified 500 times.

They float in ponds and stream banks. I found them in the Biodiversity Heritage Library, in the Rev. Francis Wolle’s 1884 book Desmids of the United States and list of American pediastrums : with eleven hundred illustrations on fifty-three colored plates .

They look a lot better up close, don’t they?

Read more

SONG: Facing North

SONG: “Facing North”.

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: Science News, 18 Mar 2019, “People can sense Earth’s magnetic field, brain waves suggest,” as used in the post “People can sense the Earth’s magnetic field.”

ABSTRACT: I don’t know if this song is from March or from April; I think this might be the first time I’ve double-blown a monthly deadline for an original. At least I got a decent cover out of it.

This song is sort of built out of competing choruses, or stacked refrains. I don’t kno…

Read more

Science Art: Rufus Porter’s “Travelling Balloon,” later renamed the “aeroport,” from Mechanics magazine, Nov. 8, 1834

Scientific illustration of Rufus Porter's airship, dubbed the "aeroport"

This airship is a kind of ancestor of the blimp or dirigible, designed by 19th-century American artist and inventor Rufus Porter, who’s perhaps best remembered today not for his drawings nor inventions, but for founding the magazine Scientific American.

From the Linda Hall Library’s “Scientist of the Day” entry (where I found this illustration):

He envisioned filling up a 500-foot-long balloon with hydrogen gas, which he calculated would provide enough lift to carry one hundred passe…

Read more

Science Art: Perspective Cutaway View of a Rotary Hammering Sample Acquisition Section (Fig. 5) from NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) 20150003208

Scientific Illustration of a Single-Piezo-Actuator Rotary-Hammering Drill patent from NASA, used for samples.Click to embiggen

A way NASA plans to get core samples from Mars, the Jovian moon Europa, and beyond – a drill designed to cut bedrock.

From the NASA Technical Report on the device:

Using an average power of 50-Watts, the drill basalt is expected to cut basalt at a rate of 0.2 cm/min down to depth of 10-cm and create cuttings and an intact core. The drill is expected to operate under different environments including Martian ambient (6 Torr and down to -50 degree C), and liquid nitrogen …

Read more

Science Art: Sinocalliopteryx gigas as a stealth hunter feeding on the primitive bird Confuciusornis, by Cheung Chungtat

Scientific illustration by Cheung Chungtat of Chinese feathered dinosaur Sinocalliopteryx gigasClick to embiggen

An Easter Sunday lunch is served: an early bird!

This is the Chinese feathered dinosaur Sinocalliopteryx gigas, chomping the bird Confuciusornis – something we know happened because we’ve actually found a fossil with the bones of one inside the stomach of the other. That discovery was the subject of this PLOS One article, which is where the illustration came from. I like the way the illustrator made it look both like a scientific illustration and a classical Chinese draw…

Read more

Maps of Cosmic Bliss.

18 October 2007 grant b 0

You might remember reading, a few years ago, about some controversial claims made by Dr. Michael Persinger, who was researching how repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation […]

Time. And an OTHER time.

16 October 2007 grant b 0

Feeling pressed for time? A New Scientist interview reported by the Telegraph posits that we have more time than you think: Time is no longer […]

Sensitive Spice.

11 October 2007 grant b 0

Like it hot? Sure you do. Nature reveals how hot peppers can make anaesthetics work more potently – and more selectively – by “opening the […]


6 October 2007 grant b 0

Scientific American toasts the bountiful benefits of beer drinking as a brain booster: “There are human epidemiological data of others indicating that mild [to] moderate […]

Your printer is bad for you.

5 October 2007 grant b 0

That’s what Science Daily says. They’re reporting on the discovery by Lidia Morawska of the University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, that particles given off […]

It’s a costeroid!

4 October 2007 grant b 0

New Scientist talks about a… thing in space. It’s not an asteroid. It’s not a comet. It’s somehow both: It has been officially designated as […]